Lego Jurassic World Review (Wii U)
The Lego series, especially those that are based on existing movie franchises, have followed the same basic formula of simple but fun action-adventure gameplay. Over the years every entry improved on the format in small ways, but never doing much to mix it up. Small changes like voice samples taken from the source material, larger hub worlds and giant character rosters don’t do much to set any particular game in the Lego series of games apart from the previous entry. Lego Jurassic World does a few new things with its gameplay, as expected, but rest assured that it’s still a Lego game.
Lego Jurassic World spans all four movies in the Jurassic Park franchise and as such it follows the plot of those movies as faithfully as a children’s game can. Lego’s unique slapstick and tongue-in-cheek humor is ever present here, and for the most part it works well. The voice samples all fit pretty well, but every now and then a few of the samples feel choppy or are twice as loud as the rest of the dialogue. Whenever that happens it pulls you out of the game and only becomes more noticeable every time it happens afterward. The game looks great on the Wii U, although the occasional frame rate drop does ruin some of the more grandiose shots the game tries to set up. Luckily the music, which is composed of the respective score for each movie really gives the game an air of authenticity and is one of the best parts of the game. Lego Jurassic World is the best looking Lego game to date, and it might also be the best sounding, aside from the voice samples.
If you’ve ever played a Lego video game before you know what to expect in terms of gameplay. Light platforming and puzzle solving along with a ton of collectibles are par for the course. There’s also a small bit of combat sprinkled throughout the levels, but in this game it ends up being more of an annoyance than anything. This is mostly due to the game’s spotty collision detection, sometimes you’ll hit an object on the first try, other times you’ll try to destroy something and your hits won’t even register. Combine this with the frame rate drops and the game ends up feeling inconsistent.
The game also changes the pseudo-open world approach that’s been seen in the Lego Marvel and Lego Batman games. Rather than jumping into missions from a hub area, you explore the island each movie takes place on in the same order as in the film and missions just start when you get to the correct area. This actually helps each segment, or movie, feel like one coherent experience and breaks up gameplay sessions nicely. The gameplay variety in each mission is where this game suffers the most however. Every mission just boils down to breaking Lego structures to build other things to get to the next part of the mission and do it again, occasionally switching to the appropriate character for that segment. There is the occasional chase sequence or boss fight, but all of the chase sequences are the exact same mission in a different setting and boss fights are quick-time events broken up by the same repetitive puzzle solving.
The co-op gameplay is also one of the game’s strongest points since the Wii U alleviates one of its biggest problems, the splitscreen. The Wii U gamepad focuses on player one while the Television display is reserved for player two. This is a seemingly small feature that actually makes a lot of difference, since there are missions that will completely split up both players. Which is a nice way to vary up the gameplay since it gives you the feeling of acting out two concurrent scenes in a movie. Those same missions, when played alone, are some of the most tedious parts of the game so having a partner for those parts comes in handy.
The amount of collectibles in this game would make Donkey Kong blush. The replay value in this game comes from these collectibles since you’ll need to unlock more characters to bring into the free play versions of the missions to fully explore each area. Every character you can think of in the entirety of the Jurassic Park series is playable in this game, even the dinosaurs. Each character also feels unique, as they all have different ability combinations rather than belonging to a specific character mold. That’s a nice incentive to go back and collect everything you missed, but by the time you finish the game you’ll never want to see another Lego ladder or trampoline ever again.
The tried-and-true Lego video game formula works well in Lego Jurassic World, but it’s not much better than the first Lego Star Wars was ten years ago. This game looks and sounds better, but the core gameplay is identical. There’s fun to be had in Jurassic World; the humor is good and it never feels forced, and co-op is the one thing in the Lego video games that never seems to get old. There are also quite a few memorable moments throughout the game, but when you’re playing through the fourth or fifth chase scene or big dinosaur fight those initial flashes of brilliance lose their luster.
This review is based on a purchased copy of Lego Jurassic World for the Nintendo Wii U.